Recently, my husband and i were granted the first opportunity we’ve ever had in our nine years together, to travel overseas. We met when we were in our early twenties and brought a house together about a year after we decided to start saving like squirrels. That left us to struggle financially for a few years and ultimately both of us being business owners was the deciding factor in our travel plans.
But i was starting to become disheartened with how repetitive my life was becoming and started to feel almost like a caged animal needing fresh air. Do not misunderstand me, i am grateful for my life, but it just began to feel small.
So my husband and i decided that we could no longer live to work and that we had to now let both our businesses have the opportunity to stand on their own feet.
I have this deep seated anxiety around flying, or at least i thought i did. Given that we would be catching around seven flights during our trip, i realised this was something i needed to desperately work on to ensure i didn’t give myself a nervous break down mid-trip. I sought the help of fellow reiki and yogi practitioner, Sushil, who i believe really guided me to understand where this fear came from. What i came to realise was that the fear was not rooted in the flying itself, but in how i’d felt the first time i had traveled overseas alone.
It was when i was just twenty-one and had come out of a desperately awful relationship. The night before i boarded my flight, the first time flying alone, not even mentioning to a non-English speaking country, my ex and i had a massive fight. I remember my parents seeing me off and as i sat on that plane, i had never felt so alone in my whole life. Of-course, we all feel lonely sometimes, but this was the heart-breaking isolation of being completely alone in this world, travelling to a place where i would be a complete outsider.
And since then, whenever i board a plane, i would start shaking, feeling sick and basically burst into tears.
It took me nearly ten years to confront these emotions and it was definitely painful to revisit, but once i did, i felt like a weight had been lifted.
The next day, i boarded the plane and was surprised myself to find that i was excited and in an odd way, calm.
The flight time was fourteen hours, followed by a four hour stop over and another hour flight to our destination.
I went over thirty hours without sleep.
We didn’t let jetlag stop us either, it was business as usual the next day. We had stuff to see!
And what i learned from that, is that my body was more capable than i had thought.
Seeing homeless here in Australia is somewhat of an uncomfortable thing, but i think as a country, we are not completely unkind to the less fortunate.
What i saw Overseas was a reality check.
In one city we visited, homelessness had become a really big
issue, as had drug use and gangs. I had never before seen someone be chased down the street by a drug induced person holding a syringe full of heroin. I had never been accosted in the street for not giving someone money. I had never crossed the street to avoid a gang of people. It both broke my heart and filled me with gratitude for my home.
I was confronted by the fact that everywhere we went, we were forced to submit to body searches, bag checks and metal detectors. People in queues would express their fears about security and it occurred to me that i was lucky enough to never really think about any of that on a daily basis. Being a chronic over-thinker, i decided this was something better left un-analysed.
We crammed so much into our days, that it created almost a blissful calm within me. I had no time to think, it was just this feeling of embracing the now and trying to be present. For the first time, i had managed to switch off and just be. Sleep became easy and i found myself becoming better able to sleep anywhere i caught a beat. I caught myself sleeping upright on a connecting flight, chin to chest. I could usually never do that, as my minds always going, but there i was.
I let go of my need to organise every little detail and just allowed things to happen around me and i started to question why it was so difficult for me to apply this to my daily life.
Why do we always need to be planning the next thing?
Coming back to my life was actually both easy and difficult to embrace, as i wanted to stay in this bubble of calm and felt ready to try and implement it.
Maybe i will succeed, maybe i wont.
But at least i know that when i start to feel like the world is getting too small, i can go somewhere far away to remind me of perspective and life goes on.
P.s – pooping on your own timeline is absolutely a thing. Please let me know if you agree!